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AP: Kings fire Musselman

Discussion in 'NBA Dish' started by roswell raygun, Apr 20, 2007.

  1. roswell raygun

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    SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — The Sacramento Kings fired coach Eric Musselman on Friday after just one tumultuous season.
    The Kings went 33-49 and missed the playoffs amid infighting and unimpressive play. The club, which reached the postseason eight consecutive times before coach Rick Adelman was fired last summer, wasted no time removing Musselman, but intends to take plenty of time to choose his replacement.
    ‘‘We’ve got to sit down and look at the process and how we did it,’’ Geoff Petrie, the Kings’ president of basketball operations, said of last summer’s coaching search.
    ‘‘There was some concern — not that we were out of the playoffs, but the way we were out of it. We just couldn’t get the level of consistency that would allow us to (make the postseason).’’
    The firing is a disastrous end to an experiment by Sacramento owners Joe and Gavin Maloof, who dropped Adelman last summer against Petrie’s apparent wishes. The Maloofs eventually chose Musselman, a longtime NBA assistant coach who presided over two decent seasons with the Golden State Warriors from 2002-04.
    But Musselman was a disappointment from Oct. 20, when he was arrested on a drunken-driving charge after Sacramento’s first preseason game. Musselman later pleaded no contest to the charge and served a two-game suspension in February.
    The Kings, who won two Pacific Division titles and reached the 2002 Western Conference finals under Adelman, struggled after an 8-5 start under Musselman. They eventually collapsed into a season-ending 5-17 skid despite returning largely the same roster that scared the San Antonio Spurs in a first-round series last season.
    Petrie thought he had assembled a team capable of challenging for a playoff spot even while the club retools its roster, but the Kings fell out of contention during a 1-8 skid in March that included losses to Charlotte, Atlanta and Minnesota.
    Sacramento finished the season with a 117-106 home loss to the Los Angeles Lakers on Wednesday night to cap a 20-21 record at Arco Arena. The Kings have sold out 354 consecutive home games, but those raucous crowds had little to cheer.
    After years of dazzling the NBA with Adelman’s uptempo offense, the Maloofs wanted to see an improved defensive team in the mold of San Antonio or Detroit. Though Musselman had a background in defensive coaching and an inexhaustible supply of motivational material, the Kings never took to his approach while yielding 103.1 points per game — seventh-worst in the league — even with vaunted defensive stopper Ron Artest in the lineup.
    And the Kings’ problems weren’t confined to the court, where guard Kevin Martin’s breakout season was perhaps the only major improvement. The unpleasant locker room was filled with infighting, and veterans Artest, Mike Bibby and Brad Miller all failed to take charge.
    ‘‘They sense they all could have done more themselves, and more as a group,’’ Petrie said of his end-of-season interviews with the players.
    The season was among the most discouraging in the history of a franchise that knows all about miserable basketball, including 15 consecutive losing seasons from 1984-98.
    The club moved from Kansas City to Sacramento in 1985 and reached the playoffs twice with losing records before Adelman, Chris Webber, Vlade Divac and Peja Stojakovic transformed the team in 1999 — also the same year the Maloofs bought the team.
    But most of the key players on those teams aged and departed over the last three seasons, leaving Petrie to rebuild around Bibby and Artest, who added to his volatile reputation with another bizarre year. Animal control officers and police were called to his suburban home at different times during the winter, and he occasionally criticized teammates and disrupted practices.
    After weeks of rumors surrounding Musselman’s departure, the Kings made the move after Musselman met Friday with Petrie, who acknowledged he already was ‘‘leaning that direction.’’ The Maloofs must pay Musselman about $5 million for the remaining two seasons of his contract.
    ‘‘When the speculation about anybody’s job security gets as heavy and personal as it has in the last few days, it’s unfair to let that kind of thing drag on,’’ Petrie said, citing widespread predictions of Musselman’s demise in the Sacramento media.
    Attempts to reach Musselman weren’t immediately successful. Joe Maloof also didn’t return a phone call seeking comment.
    The Kings don’t intend to start a coaching search until Petrie returns from an upcoming scouting trip to Europe, though Petrie intends to have a coach in place before the draft.
    Musselman’s assistants, including Scott Brooks, are still under contract to the Kings. Brooks could be among the candidates — but the Kings seem more likely to go after an established NBA coach after attempting to tame a difficult locker room with a relative neophyte.
    Longtime Spurs assistant P.J. Carlesimo interviewed for the job last summer, and the Maloofs have long spoken highly of Larry Brown, now an executive vice president with the Philadelphia 76ers.
    And the day just got worse for the Kings: They also lost tiebreakers with Charlotte and New York, who also finished 33-49, to drop from eighth to 10th in the overall draft order.
     
  2. ndnguy85

    ndnguy85 Contributing Member

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    wow i just read about this yest..dang they wasted no time.

    he sucked anyway. they should have got atleast the 8th spot.

    but the thing in the west is there's too many good teams. i mean only 8 can go to the playoffs.

    dallas, suns, rockets, jazz, spurs..thats 5 seeds already. 3 spots left for 10 other teams.
     
  3. jopatmc

    jopatmc Contributing Member

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    I happen to think he's a good, young coach. Sactown is very confusing these days. Artest has not been a fit and they are hedging in their commitment to defense by removing Musselman. Maybe they can win the lottery?
     
  4. StupidMoniker

    StupidMoniker I lost a bet
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    Mussleman is the scapegoat. Artest was a cancer and the team was torn apart from the inside. You can't have your veteran players at odds with each other all season and expect good results from a team with the marginal talent of the Kings. That being said, they should have just kept Adelman.
     
  5. rockbox

    rockbox Around before clutchcity.com

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    They lose 3 of their starting players from their contending team and still make the playoffs and the Maloofs get rid of Adelman and replace him with Musselman. These guys know how to make money but nothing about running a basketball team.
     
  6. ndnguy85

    ndnguy85 Contributing Member

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    i sure hope this kinda stupidness happens with the rockets. people cry for jvg's head and ends up like this.
     
  7. geeimsobored

    geeimsobored Contributing Member

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    No Musselman was a bad coach. Period. His rotations were absurd. Just watching Kings games would make you go insane with some of those switches. There were no patterns with his substitutions and he never got a feel for the roles in which his players should play with. He's the kind of guy that makes a great assistant, but a terrible head coach. He lost that locker room midseason and never got it back.

    That said, the Kings suck. Mike Bibby was bad this year. Brad Miller was horrendous (partially because Adelman's princeton offense was gone), and Ron Artest was erratic as usual. Not to mention, they had no front court presence at all (a softie in Brad Miller and an even bigger softie in Shareef Abdur Raheem)

    They have a lot of work to do to fix that team. It looks terrible right now.
     
  8. wnes

    wnes Contributing Member

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    Thank god we have JVG!

    Does this say a lot about Gundy or Musselman?

    :p
     
  9. A_3PO

    A_3PO Member

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    Excellent analysis. While the Kings had player issues, nobody sane can argue that Musselman came close to getting the most out of them. He just isn't cut out to be an NBA head coach, at least right now.

    Brad Miller and SAR are dogmeat; I expect Bibby to bounce back. Clearly Artest's best years are behind him. He won't ever be the same player on a season long basis.
     
  10. Mr. Clutch

    Mr. Clutch Contributing Member

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    Firing Adelman was really dumb, wasn't it, Maloof brothers?
     
  11. TreeRollins

    TreeRollins Contributing Member

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    They technically did not renew his contract. Im not sure if thats the same thing as being fired. Not that it matters in any way.
     
    #11 TreeRollins, Apr 21, 2007
    Last edited: Apr 21, 2007
  12. Mr. Clutch

    Mr. Clutch Contributing Member

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    Yes, that's what I am saying. It was their dumb decision.

    Self- ownage was the result.
     
  13. TreeRollins

    TreeRollins Contributing Member

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    ah yeah i realized what you were saying after thepost and then edited.... but yeah i agree
     
  14. haven

    haven Member

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    I don't know if Musselman is a good coach. I do know he had no chance with the team he was given.
     
  15. Shroopy2

    Shroopy2 Contributing Member

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    I know some die hard Kings fans where I'm at. Whoever they want to blame for this year, they definitely did not seem upbeat about the possibility of Musselman for another season. If they'da fired Musselman and brought back Adelman midseason they'da probably been fine with that :) .

    Noteable comment about their state of affairs, considering what we see on the Rockets with Van Gundy:
    "This is supposed to be a team geared toward DEFENSE?"

    He didnt do a great job, but yeah the team roster definitely contributed to that as well.
     

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